ABOVE + BELOW – Samir Mursalov

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Investigators investigating St. Petersburg draft office medical board chairman Samir Mursalov are expected to hit a cornerstone and pass their findings to court in mid-December. Other people have been charged since the military doctor’s arrest. It may even grow to be the largest northwest military district bribery investigation.

District draft office heroes

Samir Mursalov was arrested in April 2016. The investigators are expected to press charges against him in mid-December. His defense team will be given the case file to read. Moreover, court decided former military medical board employee Vladimir Kachko and Pushkinsky district draft office head Dmitry Petrov will remain in jail for now. The decision was made on December 15. It is worth mentioning the police will no longer be able to keep them in jail without pressing charges after mid-December; the two had been arrested earlier. It is worth mentioning not all defendants have been put in jail. For example, their colleague Yuri Berezhnov was later released from jail under house arrest. Samir Mursalov desperately tried to get home, citing health issues as an excuse. The defendant’s attorney Vladimir Anisimov pointed out his client has health issues and the fact he had spent long time in the Gaaza Hospital due to high blood pressure. However, court disregarded the argument and ruled Samir Mursalov is to remain in jail.

Let us remind you that the investigation began 2 years ago. The police arrested Olga Leonova in December 2015. She is the draft office head’s assistant working for the Reservist Management Department. The woman had 130 000 rubles ($2 258.61) on her when arrested. She had been paid the money for fake medical examination results for conscripts. She began testifying as soon as taken to an investigator. Her testimonies resulted in subsequent arrests.


The investigators proceeded to arresting Krasnoselsky District draft office senior doctor Vladimir Krupinin and former Kalininsky District draft office employee Yuri Berezhnov. They also arrested St. Petersburg resident Vladimir Kachko and Pushkinsky district draft office head Dmitry Petrov. They are suspected of mediating bribery. The Economic Security Department of the Russian MIA Directorate in the Leningrad region and local Russian Investigative Committee and FSB Departments also confiscated financial and other documentation from offices of draft office military medical board physician Vitaly Ostrichenko, draft office military medical board surgeon Aleksandr Braylov, and former Moskovsky district draft office head Aleksey Lavrinenko.

There are 11 defendants already. That is the first time that many military doctors have ever been investigated for bribery in the northwest. It is worth mentioning that the investigators did not push for the defendants to be put in jail initially. However, they changed their minds and requested the first 3 defendants be put in jail once they scrutinized lists of conscripts, cell phones, and computer data confiscated from the draft office employees. The three also began testifying as soon as taken to the investigators; that is when Mursalov was first mentioned. Several people were charged with violation of article 290, part 5, item “a” (“Bribe-Taking by a Group of Person by a Previous Concert”) of the Russian Criminal Code 2 years ago. However, a number of defendants may be in for a surprise in December; court may charge them with more serious felonies instead. The police searched 17 draft offices back then. Doctors’ documents gave them away; detectives found lists of not-fit-to-serve local residents. The police thought the lists were one too many names too long.


Pushkinsky district draft office head Dmitry Petrov

From 15 to 20

Samir Mursalov’s attorney actually does have a point when saying his client has health issues; his client is facing not strict but very strict punishment. Those who violate article 290, part 5 face 7 to 12 years in prison and a large fine. That is exactly the type of violation he has been charged with.

However, the defendants may face serious complications, as mentioned earlier. That is especially the case for Samir Mursalov. There was a process in place for declaring those willing to pay bribes as being not fit to serve, the investigators believe. The police found the middleman responsible for taking bribes and handing them over to the chairman. Samir Mursalov is the one who had set the system in place and supervised it. Samir Mursalov may end up being charged with violation of article 210, part 3 (“Creation of a Criminal Community Committed by a Person through his/her Official Position,”) of the Code, according to Crimerussia’s sources. He will then face 15 to 20 years in prison. Moreover, Mursalov did not just take bribes from conscripts’ parents, the investigators believe. He took them from his colleagues – draft offices military doctors – as well. Doctors would pay him 1 000 000 rubles ($17 373.9) twice a year to keep their jobs, according to some reports. Samir Mursalov would make 50 000 rubles ($868.7) on every deal, the investigators also believe. This means the Mursalov’s yearly income would come to 50 million rubles ($868 695) a year, given Samir Mursalov had 1 000 people bribe him.

The investigators presented footage showing Mursalov discussing plans with his accessories to prove he is guilty. Moreover, the investigators have a deciphered recording of a conversation and phone calls recordings.


Assistant to head of local military commissariat Olga Leonova 

About 4 000 conscripts pay to get the not-fit-to-serve status in St. Petersburg every year, according to estimates of the Russian Military Prosecutors’ Main Office. The investigators believe they pay between 130 and 150 thousand rubles ($2 255.8 – $2 602.85); the criminals could make up to 500 000 000 rubles a years.

The Russian General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting the Corruption and FSB later arrested one Dmitry Beda. The man had been a high-ranking northwest military district officer in a number of places. He was the middleman at the time of his arrest. Beda was suspected of “mediating bribery and being in cahoots with former draft office Olga Leonova”, according to official statements. Beda would seek out parents willing to pay for their children not to serve. He also would take money from conscripts and hand them to doctors, the investigators believe.

I Want You for Russian Army!

Doctors would lie about conscripts having health issues making them not fit to serve, the investigators currently believe. There is not much information about the investigation. Yet, there are reasons to believe the arrestees’ medical decisions will be reviewed. This will take a lot of time, but the investigators do have the lists. At the end of the day, many young men will have to serve, it seems. However, it is likely Samir Mursalov’s arrest will prompt bribe givers to go out of their way to find some other documents proving they are not fit to serve, according to some of Crimerussia’s sources. You know, just in case.

However, the police will focus on investigating high-ranking military officials, not those not willing to serve, according to some sources. However, the police will be able to do that only after the defendants that had agreed to plea bargains have faced trial, so the police can use their testimonies to prosecute other people. For the time being, the police is not going to arrest other people; it does not want to scare off other criminals. One way of another, the time when the defendants will face trial should be announced in mid-December.